MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) – We focus a lot on how to prep you and your family for hurricane season, but our pets are also our family. How do we make sure they are prepared as well? 

Starting with pets that live in your house such as dogs and cats, it begins with getting an emergency kit together. You will need: A week supply of food and water, a two-week supply of medications, leashes, potty pads for your pet to go to the bathroom when it is not safe to go outside, collars, paperwork, and a transport container if you are taking your pet to a shelter or hotel. 

If you are planning to bring your pet to a hotel or shelter, be sure to call ahead to make sure the place you are heading to allows your specific pet. If you plan to board your animal – call around to different vets to see what they require. 

“Vaccines are really important. Especially if you are going to board your dog or they have to go to a kennel, it is important to have their vaccines up to date because they are a lot of airborne respiratory illnesses,” says Dr. Connor Sindel, an Associate Veterinarian at Moffett Road Veterinary Clinic 

Vaccines including flea, tick, kennel cough and heartworm take anywhere between two to six weeks to take effect, so it is better to just keep them up to date. If your pet does have storm anxiety, check with your vet about noise specific anxiety medications. 

Also make sure your pet has a form of identification. A microchip is best because it is permanent. In addition, you have to go online and register the microchip to your name and address. Also, have a picture of you and your pet handy. 

What about animal that do not live in your house such as livestock, like horses, pigs, and cows?

Jeremy Sessions, a local farmer with Sessions Farms, says that sometimes it takes them over a week to prepare for an incoming storm. 

Before and after a storm, with all livestock, it is important to walk the perimeter of your land, make sure all of your external gates are latched and check all of the fencing.

Also make sure to open the interior gates. With field animals such as horses and cows, putting them in a barn is actually NOT the safest option since the barn could collapse with the animals trapped inside.

“Cattle have a natural instinct when a storm is coming to be able to find a low-lying area, either out of the wind or behind trees or somewhere like that to try to get out of harms way,” says Sessions. Horses have that same instinct. They will actually face their back-end towards the storm to protect their heads and place themselves in a safe location. 

You do want to make sure all livestock have updated ID tags on them in case they escape. Also have enough materials on hand to be able to fix fences quickly. This includes wire, posts, nails and staples. Of course, a weeks’ worth of food and water is necessary to have on hand.